*** I received lodging and admission to the park for the subject matter contained in this post, all opinions are 100% my own***
Do you have a tween in your family? If you do you may experience the ups and downs of tween life. You know what I mean, some days they are all op for everything, and others, well they don’t like this they don’t like that.. My daughter seems to be going through the times of the terrible tweens. She seems to dislike so many things but there has to be something picky tweens like my daughter likes? Something fun we can do as a family? Something??
Well I found one of those somethings. ZooAmerica in Hershey Park. Hershey Park is all rides and chocolate, right? Not so fast. Did you know that located in Hershey Park is an actual zoo? And not just any zoo, but a zoo that features that can be found on our continent, hence the name ZooAmerica. You won’t find elephants, lions, or gorilla’s here, but you will find bobcats, alligator’s, and other animals that are indigenous to North America.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to spend a few days (tours are held on Wednesdays and Saturday only) in Hershey you’ll be able to head over to ZooAmerica after closing to take part of their After-Hours Tour. This tour can accommodate up to 10 people per tour and it roughly lasts 2 hours. We were lucky enough to take this tour recently and even luckier is that my family was the only family signed up for the tour that night! We had two guides (Tal and Dave) all to ourselves. Their wealth of knowledge and banter with each other made the night so much fun and is an experience we still talk about.
The tour takes you all over the zoo, we got to see the area where routine check-up’s are done on the animals, we learned that if the job is too big for the zoo the handle they have a working relationship with the Vet’s at Hershey medical and they often lend a hand on the larger jobs. We got to see the zoo’s kitchen….my husband still shudders at the thought of a freezer bag full of mice. The animals are well taken care of and get to eat a lot of the food that we would eat (except the mice.)
ZooAmerica has a working relationship with the restaurants of the Hershey Hotel and Lodge, food that used to be thrown away is trucked over to the zoo and used to feed the animals. Don’t think they’re getting spoiled food, they’re not. What they’ll get is food parts that aren’t used in recipes and that were normally thrown away, now that refuse is turned into nourishment for the animals and is cutting back the waste from the restaurants and improving the quality of food for the animals. It really is a win-win situation.